Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Modernization of Muaythai

53 (Rajdamnern, being a Royal Stadium and with the Lumpinee under the banner of the Thai military). However, unlike today, shows were only held on Sundays and initially there was no roof, so the wet season was very quiet - this is still the case outside of Bangkok where very few fights take place from July to September, so take note if you are traveling here to see fights outside Bangkok during that time!)

Finally, Rounds were cut down to 5 opening the way for Muaythai to develop as a contest of skill over stamina (though there are those today who say that the modern-day emphasis on grappling is taking it away again). The colorful shorts and pi liang (corner-men) outfits have come to be issued creating a huge business in Muay gear and designing -And the referees were liberated from their scouting outfits Piece by piece over the last 60 years the addition of modern rules such as stipulating age and weight standards, ring and fighting regulations, etc. have all brought us to the sport we see before us today.

But what of the ancient rituals surrounding and providing the mystique of the Muay of old Well, some of the more cultural elements are still present today to the benefit of the Muaythai atmosphere - The often live music which echoes round every stadium is a direct descendant of the drums and pipes to which the ancient armies of Thailand marched to war. The Mongkhon and wearing of amulets have also survived the cynicism of the TV age and no doubt will continue to inspire future generations of boxers to believe that they alone are invincible (at least until proven otherwise!)

Now, Foreigners have been seen taking a serious interest in Muaythai since the late 1970's and throughout the 80's, with ever-greater numbers traveling to Thailand to train and compete here. This raises the question˜Has this trend had an influence on Muay? Well, there is certainly a distinct difference in style between West and East and possibly always be and the influence is clear in some areas the weight divisions, the shorts, the gloves but in others aspects there seems no difference at all.

In the late 80s Amateur MUAYTHAI was born to make MUAYTHAI a safe sport to international sporting rules .Safety equipment was introduced , headguard , chestguard shin guards ,elbow guards ,Amateur MUAYTHAI was born and countries united to form a world amateur federation the International Federation of MUAYTHAI Amateur (IFMA)which organized many international events and has over 100 member countries .

1995 saw another historic date, the WMC World MUAYTHAI Council under approval and the directive of the Thai government was born to regulate and foster MUAYTHAI especially on a professional level..IFMA and WMC decided to work together for the good of international sport.The rest is history or future!

Muaythai has evolved and changed much over the past few centuries, changing along with the˜new world Asia is quickly becoming. From the defense of home and King to the Sport of Kings, Muaythai's ˜journey has been a long one and no doubt it will continue Muaythai Forever!

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